2nd try @ bacon

Discussion in 'Bacon' started by jeffro510, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. I've read a lot trying to figure out the proper curing time for belly bacon using Pop's brine. In one of the threads I read that 1/4" per day was a safe bet, and that was 1/4" from both directions. So, my understanding is, if you have a 2 1/2" belly, it could be done in 5-6 days. That just doesn't seem like enough time to me. Could someone confirm or deny this for me for sure? I jacked my last bacon attempt and really want to make sure this batch works out. I cut about half the belly off and then cut that in half, and then froze the rest, so the belly is not a whole belly. It's 2 pieces about three pounds each.
    They're each in separate containers submerged in Pop's brine.
    Thanks for any help!
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  3. I wonder if that would still hold true since it's not a whole belly and it's such a smaller piece of meat? I guess it's roughly 1/4 the size of a whole belly & pretty thin too. Is it possible to over cure?
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Cant over cure.

    I used his brine with pieces of bellies before. Works good. I went the 10-14 days.
    jeffro510 likes this.
  5. Great! Thanks a bunch for the help!!!
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thumbs Up Keep the q view coming.
  7. Will do. Thanks again, buddy!
  8. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, 10 - 14 days is correct.  Because of the low amount of curing salt is used (1 oz. vs. 3.84 oz), you have to cure longer.  Makes sense.  Plus, the longer it cures the more the meat parts of the belly tenderizes, and the more flavorful it will be.

    You can cure any meat up to 30 days without over-curing it.  Ave. 3 days for chickens and 10 days for turkeys, overnight (24 hours) for fish under 2", 48 hours over 2".
    jeffro510 likes this.
  9. Pops, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Could I trouble you with one more question? How would a novice be able to tell between the 10 & 14 days? The 30 day info is hugely helpful, also!
  10. mark bacon

    mark bacon Fire Starter

    As another relatively new guy here as well, I can say from experience it is better to go too long than too short.  I have some bellies that I cured on Dec 23 that I am just now soaking and today is Jan 15. ( 23 days )  the rest will stay in brine until the 19th.  I rinse, then soak for an hour changing water once.  I then let them dry for at least a day or two before smoking.  

    I've learned that you DON'T WANT TO RUSH your bacon.  Crappiest bacon I've made was a 7 day rush cure, 45 minute soak with 3 water changes and a 2 hour fan dry and a 12 hour smoke.  
  11. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is to do with the thickness of the belly rather than the overall size. The time is required for the cure to penetrate to the centre of the thickest part of the meat meat and reach equilibrium. You need to make sure you don't under cure and, within reason, it is difficult to over cure. I dry cure mine and I find that 10 days is about right for the thinner cuts and 14 days for the thicker.
    jeffro510 likes this.
  12. Thanks for all the helpful info, guys. I really, really appreciate it & I'm looking damn forward to seeing the finished product!

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